Learn­ing skills from the best

Central Leader - - SPORT - By ALAS­TAIR LYNN

It’s not ev­ery day an All Blacks coach shows up to your First XV train­ing.

One Tree Hill Col­lege rugby play­ers got the chance to show their skills on Tues­day to a men­tor of one of the world’s most suc­cess­ful sports teams.

All Blacks as­sis­tant coach Ian Foster took some time away from his busy sched­ule to give the young­sters some valu­able tips.

‘‘I re­ally en­joy this; I love it when you see the pas­sion and the en­thu­si­asm at the First XV level,’’ he says.

‘‘I’ve met with their coach and talked through some of the as­pects of their game so I’m re­ally just try­ing to see if there’s any­thing I can add to it.

‘‘It’s not about try­ing to make sure they can’t walk af­ter­wards, it’s more help­ing them to un­der­stand the game a lit­tle bet­ter.’’

The train­ing ses­sion was gifted to One Tree Hill Col­lege from the win­ner of a si­lent auc­tion run by the Chris­tian Blind Mission, in­ter­na­tional non­govern­ment or­gan­i­sa­tion help­ing peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties in poor coun­tries.

One Tree Hill Col­lege First XV coach Max Gup­till says it was very hum­bling for his team.

‘‘It’s a chance for them to be in­volved with some­thing big­ger than them­selves,’’ he says.

‘‘For them to see some­one like Ian and think: My good­ness he’s coach­ing some of the best play­ers in the coun­try and now he’s teach­ing us – they were quite blown away.’’

With the Su­per 15 sea­son com­ing to an end, and the Rugby

an Cham­pi­onship and World Cup on the hori­zon, Foster is a busy man. Tak­ing a short break from All Blacks du­ties, Foster says he is al­ways keep­ing an eye out for fresh tal­ent.

‘‘It is sur­pris­ing where you see it.

‘‘My back­ground is be­ing from a lit­tle coun­try school that didn’t have a big rep­u­ta­tion in sport. A lot of the lesser known rugby schools still have a lot of tal­ent in them.’’

For many of the play­ers it was a sur­real mo­ment hav­ing an All Blacks coach around but Foster made it as ca­sual as pos­si­ble.

‘‘I don’t want to hear any of this ‘ Mr Foster’, call me Ian,’’ he says.

‘‘It’s great to be able to sup­port school­boy rugby. It’s about mak­ing sure they keep the en­joy­ment of play­ing to­gether.’’

All Blacks as­sis­tant coach Ian Foster gives the One Tree Hill Col­lege First XV some valu­able tips dur­ing train­ing.

All Blacks as­sis­tant coach Ian Foster gives the One Tree Hill Col­lege First XV some valu­able tips dur­ing train­ing.

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